I had originally intended to use the term hedonism as the defi ning theme of this chapter, but my main dissertation advisor suggested its replacement. He felt that the concept of hedonism could have very different connotations in many Western minds from what I myself intended, i.e., a positive cultural valuation of pleasure per se. Later I remembered his own textual justifi cation (Saran 1994: cf. Foreword by Mattison Mines) for that advice: ‘In the West, pleasure...should be taken...in small quantities...Too much...is deemed bad for a person. The health and the spirit can be weakened by these things. Pleasure, especially too much of it, is to be feared and avoided, lest a person give in to it and succumb to moral corruption and physical decay’.